Will GOP Primary Shenanigans Cost Ken Buck His Second Job?

Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

The Denver Post’s Conrad Swanson follows up on a growing scandal within the Colorado Republican Party, following an unsuccessful attempt by state party chairman Rep. Ken Buck to coerce a district chair to lie about the results of the Senate District 10 assembly under penalty of perjury in order to qualify a candidate for the June 30th primary ballot:

At least two party executives say they were surprised to learn Buck — who’s also a U.S. representative — defended his position on the state Senate District 10 primary ballot in district court and then appealed that ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court, running up possibly tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Kris Cook, chair of the Denver Republican Party, found out about it Wednesday only to hear hours later that Buck canceled a committee meeting that had been scheduled for Friday.

“We’re touching on something here that’s not quite clean, and it’s not quite the image I have of what the party ought to be,” Cook said, later adding: “I think it’s worth questioning whether him in that role is going to have a negative effect on the rest of this cycle.”

After Rep. Buck attempted to strong-arm GOP SD-10 chair Eli Bremer into falsifying an affidavit to the state allowing primary candidate David Stiver to appear on the ballot against overwhelming district favorite Rep. Larry Liston, Buck was sued and lost–all the way up to the Colorado Supreme Court who refused to hear the case. This legal fight cost the party an unknown but presumably very large amount of money, with Bremer’s attorney’s fees alone estimated around $15,000 in today’s story.

It’s not hard to understand with all of this in mind why more Republicans than ever in the state–and the movement is not new as readers know–want to oust Buck from his position as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. Buck’s term in the job of running the state GOP has been marked by almost continuous failure and controversy, and “absentee boss” Buck has had to grapple with the consequences of terrible decisions made by high-ranking party officials like vice-chair Kristi Burton Brown’s ill-fated recall attempt against Rep. Tom Sullivan he actively encouraged. Buck’s high-profile votes against COVID-19 relief, and backfiring grandstands against wearing face masks and other measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic have helped brand the Colorado GOP as the party of the irresponsible fringe in this pandemic.

Now Buck has been caught red-handed apparently trying to force a party subordinate to commit perjury. As an attorney and as a member of Congress, we have to think that suborning perjury is a bigger problem for Buck than any of these heretofore optical scandals. We’re not Pollyannish about how the assembly process can and probably has been fudged over the years to achieve desired outcomes. But how could a former prosecutor not understand the consequences of lying under oath?

We foresee a future in which Ken Buck wishes he never took this second job. It’s difficult even now to imagine Rep. Buck losing his ultra-safe Republican seat in Congress, but he’s certainly exposed himself to unwelcome scrutiny in a Democratic-controlled House. Short of that, turning the party over to someone with the time and competence to stabilize what’s become an ongoing organizational disaster ahead of another brutal election seems like something smart Colorado Republicans should urgently consider.

At this point, Democrats could honestly be Ken Buck’s biggest fans.

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  1. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    “We’re touching on something here that’s not quite clean, and it’s not quite the image I have of what the party ought to be,” 

    OMG!
    You make me laugh.
    Your GOP: Party of Hate® is owned by an incoherent, inarticulate, incompetent, incontinent, morbidly obese, narcissistic psychopath.

  2. spaceman65 says:

    I'd prefer it to cost him his first job. 

     

  3. kwtreekwtree says:

    The death toll in CD4, Buck’s House district, should cost Ken Buck both jobs.

    Some of the more deadly counties in Cd4:

    Morgan: 448 cases, 122 deaths (Cargill meat plant, Ebenezer nursing home)

    Adams 2046 cases, 78 deaths
    Detention facilities, severe air pollution
    Arapaho: 3089 cases, 72 deaths (ICE detention facility)

    Elbert: 37 cases, 1 death

    Larimer: 423 cases, 18 deaths

    Logan 318, 2 deaths

    Weld: 2014 cases, 114 deaths ( JBS meat plant, severe air pollution from fracking, right wing Covidian Truthers)

    Just with these numbers, not counting all of the smaller or less Covid-stricken counties in CD4, Buck’s House district comprises 43%( 407 / 944) of the Colorado COVID death toll.

    Is Buck proud of all this “freedom”? Is he happy because it’s killing off people who won’t or don’t vote for him anyway? ( immigrant meat workers and frail elders in care facilities). What would it take to make Buck give a flying fuck.?

     

    • I agree with your point in general, but note that Larimer County is in CD-2, not CD-4

      • kwtreekwtree says:

        That is true; since redistricting in 2010, Larimer is in CD2. CD4 picked up part of Douglas County, which also has a high death toll (573 cases, 26 deaths)

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Strike two . . .

          . . . Douglas county’s per capita case numbers and death numbers are roughly half of the State average.

          (Less stretching to try to make the already obvious point might improve your batting average?)

          • kwtreekwtree says:

            I’m adding up death numbers in all the counties in CD4- so Dougcos #s  count towards that, even if, per capita, they are low.. So broadly, Buck’s constituents still account for ~ 40% of Colorado’s Covid death toll, and he should be held accountable for it….by voters in November. . I don’t care much if he loses the GOP Chair, except as it impacts his keeping the CD4 seat. 

            The point may be obvious to us, but it’s still worth making.  Buck will blame ( liberals, immigrants, mainstream media etc for his failures). I don’t think he’ll get away with dodging responsibility this time. 
             

            Serious nit picking would determine which parts of Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas Counties are actually in CD4. I think we’d find that the Covid hotspots, like the country as a whole, are in and around nursing homes, detention facilities, and meat plants, and are aggravated by polluted air as in Weld and Adams counties.
            CD4 has plenty of those hotspots and conditions. It would take some health scientists ( like former Senate candidate Trish Zornio) to do that analysis.

            I’m OK with my “obvious “ point: Buck is failing to protect his constituents’ health. His public statements and votes have, if anything placed them at even greater risk.But feel free to nitpick. It may be useful. 

             

            • gertie97 says:

              As long as the GOP voters in the 4th support the fat psychopath in the White House, Buck's seat is not in peril.

            • Diogenesdemar says:

              I’m sorry.  I apologize for causing you to incorrectly state that Larimer County is in Buck’s district, and then forcing you to declare that Douglas County “also has a high death rate,” and then making you have to justify how correct you actually were in those statements.

              My bad. Please forgive me, I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me here today.  

  4. kwtreekwtree says:

    s

    Sure. You betcha.
    You do know the difference between “toll” and “rate”, right? 26 is a high death toll, which is what I wrote. You noted that Dougco has a low death rate per capita.

    Raw numbers  of people dead from coronavirus in CD4, Ken Buck’s district, comprise about 40% of the total known death toll in Colorado. The important thing to understand is why.

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